With around half the global population (approx 3.5 billion people) now using the Internet, the online space can be considered a parallel universe with smartphones, or mobile apps to be more precise, working as the portal through which they can access virtually limitless content and services. And while those services remain the same for all users, the divide between mobile platforms means businesses have to repeat their investment for the same application for two different class of devices. After all, it’s not like Uber or Amazon offer different kinds of cabs or sell different kinds of products to iOS and Android users, but still, they need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to make separate apps for them.
And while that’s pocket-change for such large enterprises, it can be the difference between a viable business and an unfeasible bet for small players. That’s where cross-platform applications step in. Not only can they save those valuable dollars by eliminating the need for two native applications, but building them is also comparatively quicker and cheaper. Out of many available, these are the top 5 frameworks you should prefer for creating cross-platform apps:
1. React Native
Build by Facebook and having a large community backing owing to its open source tag, React Native is one of the fastest growing mobile technology. The prospect that you can create a full-scale hybrid application with native features using only JavaScrip and third-party components, has made this the first choice for developers across the board. If you have ever used applications like Airbnb, UberEats, or Myntra, you already have witnessed the competence of this framework.
Currently owned by Microsoft, Xamarin is arguably the framework that kick-started the entire cross-platform app development domain and is still one of the most capable tools for the purpose. One of the key benefits of using this framework is the access to its rich collection of native libraries that is consistently updated to include new features as soon as they are introduced by iOS or Android.
Currently in this third release (Ionic 3), Ionic is an open source SDK that uses web technologies like HTML5, CSS, SaaS, among others to create native-like cross-platform applications. Developed and largely maintained under MIT open source project and a global community of developers, the platform has seen drastic improvements since last year with the addition of multiple libraries and native components. Built on top of AngularJS, it can be used to create a common codebase for the proposed application, which is then given a native shell using Apache Cordova to have the complete feel and functionality of a native application.